Daily Camera: Ironman Boulder modifies course following 2016 cyclist fatality, but won’t reveal changes

A “ghost bike” memorial is seen Wednesday evening with flowers and photos of Michelle Walters in the area where she was killed last August while riding on U.S. 36 north of Boulder during the 2016 Ironman Boulder. (Paul Aiken / Staff Photographer)

From the Daily Camera

Ironman Boulder has modified the course that a cyclist was killed on following a collision with a vehicle last year, but organizers won’t say what changes were made or whether they were implemented specifically because of the athlete’s death.

This year’s Ironman triathlon takes place Sunday.

“We do make course alterations nearly every year with all of our races to improve the athlete and spectator experience,” the triathlon’s national office said in an emailed statement. “In line with that model, the bike course for Ironman Boulder was modified from last year.”

The 2017 Ironman Boulder Bike Course

Ironman officials did not respond to multiple questions about what changes were made to the stretch of the course on U.S. 36 just to the north of Broadway in unincorporated Boulder County where 34-year-old Michelle Walters was killed during last August’s race.

The Colorado State Patrol stated following an investigation into the crash that Walters was killed after she veered out of a designated cycling lane on northbound U.S. 36, collided with a northbound pickup truck, fell down and was struck by the truck.

The truck’s driver was not ticketed or charged with any crime.

Last year, the cycling lane on U.S. 36 was “heavily coned,” a state patrol official said at the time, and vehicle traffic was realigned away from the cycling lane that had been set up on the shoulder of the highway.

This year’s 112-mile-long cycling course remains in place where Walters was struck, according to a map of the course.

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